The 2008 Financial Crisis put the managers of the Ambitionist Generation, born between 1985 and 1996, at a serious disadvantage. Young businesspeople embarking on careers with desires to change and save the world found themselves in the middle of a recession where few were curious about their technical, unpractised knowledge. In addition, their behaviour was often unmanageable because expectations often deviated from reality, which was not tolerated by many during such a crisis. Many have not been able to decide whether this generation will really have to face the impossible now – as their great, difficult-to-build careers are now facing an even greater crisis – or it is precisely this crisis that will show their true value.
Before the crisis
The world is my oyster! Because I deserve it! Roughly, that could be the motto of this generation. They grew up with this attitude. Not only did they taste globalisation, social media, international atmosphere and presence, but thanks to technological advances, it was all theirs. Many of them were given the opportunity, especially in the entertainment industry, to become stars right away. Social media allowed them to transform from ordinary people to celebrities earning millions of dollars in a matter of days. And that became the standard. A huge battle, a huge scramble, and in the end, only the best can win. It was with this attitude that they came into corporate life. They saw the weaknesses of the older generations and indeed had abilities with which success was clearly obtainable for them. But somehow, there was a failure to launch, like those great talents who always remain the “next great player” but never quite fulfil their potential. Most of this generation is really only destined for an average role. There is nothing wrong with this; it is the case with every generation. There are the really talented few who take a lot, and there are the ordinary people who can live contented, satisfied lives. But contentment was not an option for this generation. There was no question that they could be average. And if they didn’t become a star, they usually became unmanageable. This generation has stayed at home with their parents for the longest time. What was most characteristic of this generation was that they settled for ongoing support from home. There was a serious challenge here with the sense of duty I felt, and I could list some of the extra elements that caused a serious headache and are still causing it on the employer side. This generation was also consumed by the “found a startup and exit for big money fast” theory. So before the crisis, the Ambitionists were split into two camps: one, much smaller proportion of managers had actually established very nice careers and had become stars in business compared to their peers. Their general characteristic is that since this generation has a strong Ruler trait, those who carry the Supporter personality factor – which is the opposite pole from the Ruler on the psychological circle – could prevail, contrary to generational trends. This has given them patience, reliability, and taken away from egoism, which is a huge problem for this generation. And the other group, after a sudden flare-up, set off on a fast career path and then fell into it. There were those who failed at home but tried their luck in other countries, but if they honestly look in the mirror, the “dream” didn’t really come together either. They are being pushed farther and farther away from their business plans, primarily because of their intolerable behaviour and actions.
After the crisis
Although often unmanageable, they are absolutely not loyal, but companies have learned to accept them and condone these unsympathetic qualities. They did it because, amidst a labour shortage, employers can’t be so picky. They also did so because they really had the skills that a particular business needed (in the short term, at least). So, before 2020, there was a tolerable coexistence with the Ambitionists, who have average abilities but above-average expectations. And so, the smarter, more sympathetic members of this generation have taken serious positions for themselves in business, and they have become indispensable in the processes that started in 2020. The first impact of the crisis was the mass dismissal of managers of this generation. They’ve had a huge slap in the face in recent years, and their hard-built self-confidence was hit last year. But unfortunately, the effects of multiple crises on this generation are difficult to under. We see that if they cannot bring their egos, their expectations, to a level acceptable to other generations, then this crisis is now really finishing the destructive process that began in 2008, and much of this generation will be doomed to failure. If only because they are followed by a generation who wants to work better, is much more lovable, and the older generation will not think much before replacing the Ambitionists. However, for those who wake up in time and can change, they can balance their generational effects with intelligence, a new world begins for them. To be sure, the biggest question mark in this generation is in the minds of businesspeople about this generation’s future, their suitability, and their “usability”.